Teachers protested in many parts of Brazil last week, demanding that money be spent on education, health and housing instead of on the upcoming Football World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. The two prestige sporting events are set to cost $26 billion. Meanwhile thousands of public schools and hospitals across the country are in a poor condition and millions are homeless or squatting.

In Rio de Janeiro, there were mass demonstrations of teachers and students on Thursday, which marched on the government buildings. Meanwhile in Sao Paulo, where the first match is being played on June 12th there was a huge protest with the slogan: 'World Cup without the People.'  The fury about the money being spent on the sports projects has been compounded by allegations of corruption, the deaths of building workers in the course of their construction and the clearing of favelas to make way for stadia - leaving people homeless and forced to squat in derelict buildings like disused factories. In the police actions to clear the slums, some residents lost their lives. Sao Paulo workers are threatening to strike on June 12th if the demands of the protests are not answered. 

The teachers have been on strike since May 12th and the protests started last June, when thousands of youth, students and public sector workers took to the streets. When teachers struck in Rio towards the end of last year they were met by brutal repression from the police. The government is preparing for the World Cup, which starts next month, by deploying thousands of riot police. The police themselves were on strike earlier this month, demanding an 80% pay rise. Meanwhile there is no sign of the struggle by teachers, students and youth abating in the run up to the event.